rain barrels…
the what and the why

Rain Barrel

Got rain? Collecting and storing rainwater for use during dry months has been around since ancient times. With the rising costs of municipal water and the fact that storm water runoff is an environmental mess, resurrecting this old practice just makes sense. What is a rain barrel? At its simplest, it’s a container placed under a downspout to collect rainwater from the roof. Continue reading

is it safe to go in the water?
the facts on beach pollution

Beach Pollution

Summer means vacations and beaches for most of us. Before you stick your feet in the water, you might want to let point your browser at the Natural Resources Defense Council report on water quality at vacation beaches.

Before you hit the shore, do your research and check into the health and welfare of the water. The real truth is, there really isn’t a shoreline that doesn’t have a pollution problem of some sort. The most frequently identified pollution source is stormwater runoff. Discharge from wildlife and boats come in a very distant second followed by sewage spills and overflows.

What can we do to make our waterways cleaner and safer? Continue reading

protecting our waterways…
one action at a time

A reflection on watershed protection and the importance each individual has on our natural environment

BlueWaterBaltimore

Guest Blogger: Dana Puzey, Program Manager at Blue Water Baltimore

Now that spring is here, many of us are preparing our planting beds, starting our vegetable seeds, and otherwise preparing for our release from cabin fever. This is the norm for most folks, but those of us in the business of protecting Baltimore’s waterways are thinking about spring rains and the impact they will have on our streams. Water is an invaluable resource, but when it falls on hard surfaces such as rooftops and roadways it becomes stormwater, or urban runoff. This water flows directly to our streams without being treated. The water is contaminated by a myriad of pollutants including trash, petrochemicals, and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, elements commonly found in fertilizers and suspended in our air due to combustion engines. Continue reading